Preface

The local paper changed my life.

They had been running articles on how to be a better person, giving suggestions on things you could do to improve your life and others lives, and I had been cutting the articles out and arranging them around my desk like tiles on a mosaic. Most of the suggestions had been easy, like 'compliment someone you don't know' (I told the lady standing behind me at the cashpoint that I loved her hair: it was bright blue) or 'donate your old clothes to charity' (kind of cheating, as I already do this), but this last one was more difficult: 'Invite a stranger to dinner'.

The story that follows is the story of my life after I invited a stranger to dinner: from the astonishing to the remarkable to the tragic, my life has been distorted dramatically and permanently.

I invite you to take a look at how something so small (reading the local paper) could obliterate my life plan, only for something new and beautiful to be born out of it. A phoenix born out of the fire.